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Aug. 5, 2021, 1:30 a.m. EDT

Bayer to Buy Vividion Therapeutics

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By Maria Armental

Bayer AG is buying Vividion Therapeutics Inc. in a roughly $2 billion deal that would strengthen Bayer's drug discovery capabilities.

The German pharmaceuticals giant said it would pay $1.5 billion up front and up to $500 million if certain milestones are met.

San Diego-based Vividion, spun out from the Scripps Research Institute, had filed documents this year for an initial public offering. The company was formed around a technology platform for developing medications aimed at proteins thought to be "undruggable."

"Despite the hundreds of human proteins known to cause disease, about 10% of these targets are drugged by current therapies and the remaining targets, inaccessible to conventional chemistry, are perceived as pocketless or undruggable," the biotechnology company said in the IPO documents.

Vividion has initially focused on cancer and immune disorders. Its programs are in preclinical development, and the company currently generates revenue from collaboration agreements.

"Vividion's technology is the most advanced in the industry, and it has demonstrated its ability to identify drug candidates that can target challenging proteins," Stefan Oelrich, president of Bayer's pharmaceuticals division, said in a statement.

Under the terms of the agreement, Vividion will continue to operate as an independent organization, Bayer said.

The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter.

Vividion's investors include ARCH Venture Partners, Versant Ventures and Cardinal Partners, according to the IPO documents.

Write to Maria Armental at maria.armental@wsj.com

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